This article was previously published in the March 28, 2020, Traverse City Record- Eagle
Our world is in turmoil because of the Coronavirus outbreak. The current clash of competing information is making things worse. Trump has refused to acknowledge the severity of the situation. He initially referred to the Coronavirus as more Fake News. And Fox News called it a hoax to further indict the president. Because of this attitude, our country has been ill-prepared to face the crisis.
During the Obama-Trump transition, an afternoon tabletop exercise focused on the potential problems the new administration might face – a hurricane, a financial crash, and a pandemic. The new staff was informed of how everything was in place to handle these emergencies.
One of the first actions of the Trump administration was to reorganize the Emergency Response/Pandemic Team, leaving a key position unfilled and any future response disorganized.
Last year the department of health arranged another table top simulation focusing on a respiratory virus pandemic. And in January and February of this year, US Intelligence Agencies warned Trump of the scale and intensity of the Covid-19 outbreak. Within the last year the HHS Global Health Security Team foresaw the lack of ventilators as a major problem facing our national health system. These organizations have stressed the need for preparation. The President stated this type of activity is not the federal government’s responsibility.
Several state governors have been asking why the Defense Production Act had not been used to employ the military in hospital readiness. Trump said he thought of that as a ‘last resort’ and he wasn’t sure the country would need it. He recently agreed to this Act, but has yet to give any orders for specific actions. Hospitals are full, thousands of people are affected, hundreds have died. What is he waiting for?
A Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College had been working on a Coronavirus vaccine until the Trump administration removed his funding. Now Trump is expecting a vaccine to be completed within weeks. His refusal to allow for such preparation has left Americans unnecessarily vulnerable. Trump’s lack of willingness to prepare has brought the country to the brink of disaster, both physical and financial.
When a reporter offered Trump an opportunity to provide consoling words to the worried citizenry of our country, the president lashed out in response, accusing the reporter of sensationalizing the situation. Apparently, he feels there is no reason for people to be concerned that coronavirus death rates around the country are doubling overnight.
The true MAGA followers may never admit to Trump’s lack of leadership during this pandemic response, but history will detail his presidency as one that nearly destroyed the country.
To those who have sought comfort in the shadows of this administration’s efforts to gaslight the nation, if you think believing the false sense of security from the President will protect you, think again. The joke’s on you.
Any opinions that may have been stated here do not reflect the positions of the Grand Traverse Democrats.